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We’re All Going to Die

February 4, 2016


Recently, things have been quite strange in my little corner of the world. Rad, but strange.

On January 9th, my awesome boyfriend asked me to marry him. The proposal was simple and cool — he did it in front of our pets, all four of them — and gave me a ring from a local thrift shop. And don’t think he’s cheap — that’s what I wanted. My request was for him to purchase a ring that was once owned by a bad-ass bitch who lived a life I could envy. And from the look of this ring, I’d say he did well.

After the proposal, I placed my aunt’s deceased mother’s wedding ring on top of the ring he gave me because 1. I love my aunt and want to honor her mother, 2. the ring Paul gave me was too big (sorry, Paul), 3. I love pre-owned jewelry. Why? Well, that’s complicated… I’ve always been intrigued by death, and for good reason…

When I was three years old, I “died” in surgery. I vomited in my anesthesia mask and, basically, choked on my own puke.


The only reason I’m still here is because someone in the room heard me gurgle.

My physical recovery from the experience went well, but the mental one was complicated. For months my parents had to help me through night terrors, etc. I eventually worked my way through that trauma and lived a pretty normal life.

Many people may think my interest in death comes from that experience. Hardly. It’s the other things I’ve gone through; the traumas, deaths, sexual assaults, suicides, relationships, loves, life, personal experiences, illnesses, that have fed the connection I have with people who are no longer here.

Everyone turns to something, or someone, when they are trying to figure out life and death. While, yes, I did go to church as a child and do continue to hold some religious beliefs, I tend to lean toward a more spiritual belief system. Don’t ask me to explain it because it’s complicated and only works for me. But the basic gist of it is this: while other people go to church to talk to their god, I go into nature and visit the cemetery. These are the places I feel most at home because they are physical and remind me that I am mortal, and could die, like, now, so I may as well do the best with what I have.

Cemeteries and nature are equally sad and beautiful, and that’s why I want to have my wedding ceremony in a cemetery — which is, technically, in nature — so I could be in my church and celebrate my life, and my love’s life while we both have it.

Now, I understand that there are quite a few people who think my “cemetery wedding” idea seems disrespectful to the dead. To each their own — I certainly would never try to tell someone their opinion or feelings are wrong. We all experience life and death in different ways.

But I can’t help that I think cemeteries are awesome and the ultimate place to celebrate life. Now, I’m not saying that people should be dancing on graves all willy-nilly, but if, say, a couple does want to get married in a quiet manner at a cemetery, in an area that has no graves, why not let these people go for it?

After all, the cemetery residents would enjoy the show and perhaps get a bit of existential joy from the happy tears shed.

Image via Adrian Scottow

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Keith Owen permalink
    July 8, 2016 6:27 pm

    I have been a friend of Paul’s father since 1974 which means I met Paul when he was very young. Having been a newspaper reporter/editor, I can assure you that your writing is very good. Having known your future father-in-law for such a long time, I can assure you that your relationship with him will be totally cool. Thanks for sharing a perspective I needed.

    • Abbie Stutzer permalink
      November 8, 2016 12:00 am

      It took me a long while to respond but the thank you is still just as genuine. This is so very appreciated.

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